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10th Jul 2018

Simon Pegg opens up about battle with alcoholism and depression during filming of Mission: Impossible

“I’m an actor, so I acted… all the f*cking time.”

Kyle Picknell

In an interview with The Guardian the actor revealed his role in The World’s End was him ‘kind of telling people what was going on’

Simon Pegg, the beloved star of two of the most popular British films of all time, Edgar Wright collaborations Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, as well cult comedy series Spaced, has now revealed that he has battled alcoholism and depression throughout his Hollywood success whilst starring in the Mission: Impossible and Star Trek franchises.

Pegg told The Guardian: “I would feel like — I’m in a film with Tom Cruise, I’ve got the part of Scotty in Star Trek. This should be making me feel happy. But it wasn’t.”

“When I watch that film back, I can see where I was then, which was fairly lost, and unhappy, and an alcoholic. I’m an actor, so I acted … all the f*cking time,” he added, calling it his ‘crisis period’.

Mission: Impossibe – Ghost Protocol

He admits that he kept his struggles with addiction and his mental health hidden from everyone, even his best friend and frequent co-star Nick Frost. Whilst promoting their movie Paul in the USA Pegg went missing for four days. After his flight back, he couldn’t make it home without stopping for pints in the airport.

“People think junkies and alcoholics are slovenly, unmotivated people. They’re not — they are incredibly organised. They can nip out for a quick shot of whisky and you wouldn’t know they have gone. It’s as if … you are micro-managed by it. But eventually the signs are too obvious. You have taken the dog for one too many walks,” he said.

The 48-year-old has suffered from depression since he was 18, and dealt with it through self-medicating and drinking.

He attended AA meetings and admits “I don’t think I would be here now if I hadn’t had help.”

The actor is now living happily with his wife, daughter and dogs in Herfordshire and no longer drinks.

Whilst his role of Gary King in final instalment of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End, was his way of “kind of telling people what was going on”, it appears he has now thankfully left behind whatever personal struggles he once shared with the fictional character.

If you are affected by any of the issues covered in this article, CALM’s free, confidential and anonymous helpline & webchat are open every day, 5pm-midnight: and can be contacted on 0800 58 58 58. The Samaritans can also be contacted 24/7 on 116 123. Alcoholics Anonymous can be contacted on 0800 9177 650.